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Tuesday, 20 November 2012

ASSOCIATION WELCOMES FISHERIES MINISTER’S VISIT

 

Shetland Fishermen’s Association has welcomed today’s visit to Shetland by UK Fisheries Minister Richard Benyon.

The visit, which was organised by local MP Alastair Carmichael, saw Mr Benyon visit the Lerwick fish market and Electronic Auction, meet with Shetland Fishermen’s Association, and tour the NAFC Marine Centre in Scalloway.

During his visit Mr Benyon heard at first-hand about the importance of fishing to Shetland, about the problems faced by the local fishing industry, and their priorities for the end-of-year fisheries negotiations.

Association Chairman, Leslie Tait, said that they particularly appreciated Mr Benyon’s visit at this important time of the year, leading up to the December fisheries negotiations in Brussels: “This provided us with an opportunity to make clear to the Minister that Shetland is a community where fishing is still vitally important, both socially and economically. We pointed out to him, for example, that more than £90 million worth of fish were landed in Shetland last year, and that more fish is now landed in Shetland than in all of England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Our members welcomed the opportunity to explain to the Minister some of the problems that they face as a result of European fisheries regulations, and to highlight what they think he should try and achieve in the end-of-year negotiations.”

Mr Tait added that the visit provided Mr Benyon with an opportunity to learn about the unique working relationships in Shetland between the fishing industry, the NAFC Marine Centre, the Council and other organisations.

Amongst the issues raised with Mr Benyon by the Association were the impact on the local pelagic fishing industry of the on-going mackerel dispute with Iceland and Faroe, and the consequences of the on-going cuts in days at sea under the Cod Recovery Plan.

Further Information:
For further information, comments or interviews, please contact:

Leslie Tait, Chairman, Shetland Fishermen’s Association M. 07786 656398
OR Brian Isbister, Chief Executive, Shetland Fish Producers’ Organisation M. 07831 474215